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US State Department denies Russia formally indicated 'change' in nuclear-related communications

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 29, 2023 10:37 PM 2 min read
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Vedant Patel, the U.S. State Department principal deputy spokesperson, denied on March 29 that Russia had officially suspended all nuclear-related communications, CNN reported on March 29.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov announced the suspension of all nuclear-related communications between the two countries, with Russian state-controlled television adding that this included missile test launches.

U.S. officials were aware of the comments but did not receive any formal notification on the matter, Patel clarified.

However, the U.S. remains “concerned about Russia's reckless behavior" over the treaty, according to CNN's report.

Other than the "diplomatic countermeasure" taken by the U.S. to withhold a biannual data update, a State Department spokesman told CNN that the U.S. continues to "fully implement the New START treaty, including the central limits.”

The New START Treaty required Russia and the U.S. to conduct biannual data exchanges and maintain transparency in missile testing.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin suspended Russia's participation in the New START Treaty during his speech to the Federal Assembly on Feb. 21.

The U.S. and Russia signed the treaty in Prague in 2010.  In addition to mandating an open line of communication between both countries, the agreement places limits on the size and composition of their nuclear arsenals.

New START was the sole remaining arms agreement between the U.S. and Russia.

Putin also threatened on March 25 to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus for military training after the U.K. announced that it would supply Ukraine with ammunition containing depleted uranium.

U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters on March 28 that he was "concerned" about the threat, but there were not yet any indicators that Russia was going forward with it.

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